Friday, June 29, 2012

El Salvador


Disclaimer: I am writing this blog post almost a year after I actually made and consumed the recipe; I don't remember everything in great detail...

I made this recipe on June 29, 2012.  From the website from which I got the recipe: "Pupusas are similar to corn tortillas, only thicker and stuffed with cheese, beans or meat. The pupusa originated in El Salvador, but it is also popular in neighboring Honduras."

From what I remember, these were delicious, but rather messy and difficult to make.  It was hard to get the filling inside the dough.  Once I pressed it, it oozed out.  That's clear from the pictures below.  I made four different fillings: pupusas de queso (with cheese and green chiles), pupusas de chicharrones (with bacon and tomato sauce), pupusas de frijoles refritos (with refried beans) and pupusas revueltas (with a mixture of queso, chicharonnes and refried beans).  These were served with salsa roja (red salsa) and curtido (Salvadoran cabbage salad).

Pupusas with Salsa Roja and Curtido

Salsa Roja

- 3 T. olive oil
- 1/4 c. chopped onion
- 1 clove garlic, chopped
- 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and chopped
- 2 c. tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
- 2 tsp. dried oregano
- salt and pepper
- 1/4 c. chopped cilantro

1) Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium.  Add onion, garlic and jalapeño and sauté for 2-3 minutes, or until the onion is translucent.
2) Stir in the tomatoes and oregano and simmer for about 10 minutes.  Remove from heat and cool a bit.
3) Puree the tomato sauce in a blender until smooth, adding water if needed.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Stir in cilantro.


- 1/2 head cabbage, shredded. 
- 1 carrot, peeled and grated
- 4 c. boiling water
- 3 minced scallions
- 1/2 c. white vinegar
- 1/2 c. water
- 1 minced, seeded jalapeño
- 1/2 tsp. salt

1) Place the cabbage and carrots in a large bowl.  Pour boiling water into the bowl to cover the cabbage and carrots.  Set aside for about 5 minutes.  Drain in a colander, pressing out as much liquid as possible.
2) Return cabbage and carrots to the bowl and toss with the remaining ingredients.  Let set at room temperature for a couple of hours before chilling.



- 2 c. masa harina
- 1 c. warm water

  1. In a large bowl, mix together the masa harina and water and knead well. Knead in more water, one tablespoonful at a time if needed, to make a moist, yet firm dough. (It should not crack at the edges when you press down on it.) Cover and set aside to rest for 5 to 10 minutes.
  2. Roll the dough into a log and cut it into 8 equal portions. Roll each portion into a ball.
Queso Filling

- 1 c. shredded queso fresco
- 1 small can of green chiles, drained

1) Combine

Chicharrones Filling (the easy way)


- 1 c. cooked bacon
- a little tomato sauce

1) Pulse together in a food processor

Frijoles Refritos Filling

- Refried beans

Revueltas Filling

- Refried beans
- Queso filling
- Chicharrones filling

1) Combine all ingredients.

Assembling the Pupusas:

1) Press an indentation in each ball with your thumb. Put about 1 tablespoon of desired filling into each indentation and fold the dough over to completely enclose it. Press the ball out with your palms to form a disc, taking care that that the filling doesn't spill out.
2) Place the dough between two pieces of plastic wrap or wax paper and roll it out with a rolling pin.

Failed attempt: 
 Done better:

3) Heat a greased skillet over medium-high flame. Cook each pupusa for about 1 to 2 minutes on each side, until lightly browned and blistered. Remove to a plate and hold warm until all pupusas are done. 
4) Serve with salsa roja and curtido.

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